DC must tackle succession issue

DC must tackle succession issue

AN estimated 10 000-strong crowd marched in Maseru last weekend in what organisers said was a show of support for Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

But the march has brought to the fore once again the bitter divisions in one of the biggest parties that make up the current coalition government.

The majority of senior officials in Mosisili’s Democratic Congress (DC) party who make up the party’s National Executive Committee, did not take part in the march.

They say they were not consulted when the march was organised.

In fact, while Mosisili was leading the march in Maseru, his deputy in the party, Monyane Moleleki, was addressing a party rally in Machache constituency.

It is quite obvious, even to the staunchest party apparatchiks, that the DC is headed for trouble unless it addresses the core issues at stake.

Despite attempts to paper over the cracks, each day that passes is providing further evidence that the party is going through difficult times.

Last weekend’s events paint a picture of a party in trouble.

That, in our opinion, is quite sad.

The DC’s squabbles pose the biggest threat to the continued existence of the coalition government.

At another level, the squabbles have the potential to knock off key government programmes as party leaders focus on political survival.

Without stability in the DC, which is the biggest partner, the whole coalition government will likely wobble.

Yet, the infighting within the DC should never have reached this dangerous stage which is now feeding fears of a further damaging split. That would be tragic.

In our opinion the squabbles within the DC are a direct result of the unresolved succession issue. That issue has remained a sticking point since Mosisili was still leading the Lesotho Congress for Democracy.

To avoid problems, the party needs to put in place a clear succession plan. It could perhaps introduce clear term limits.

With a clear succession plan, leaders and party supporters will know when the premier will leave and who will likely take over. That way, the party will be able to nip some of the current problems in the bud.

The current crisis within the DC could yet be an indication of how the party is being managed. It would be tragic were Mosisili to preside over yet another split of his own party.

The DC must rise above petty differences and focus on the bigger picture of providing leadership within the coalition government. The party must quickly put its house in order.

A year after assuming the reins of power, we would have thought senior DC cadres had learnt important lessons from their predecessors.

But it would appear the party is determined to press the self-destruct button and perform a form of political euthanasia. Any further split will not guarantee that the party, in either form, will form the next government.

The current squabbles would also indicate the party did not resolve the fundamental issues that led to its formation four years ago. The party must now bite the bullet and deal with the issue of succession.

A no-holds barred discussion on the matter would be critical in charting the best way forward. Any other approach to paper over the cracks would leave the party hobbling.

Of course, we see nothing wrong in having factions.

That is not contradictory. Differences in opinion whereby people coalesce over an issue, a principle or an individual are not wrong on their own. Rather, such differences are healthy if we are to have a vibrant democracy in Lesotho.

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